Wednesday, April 18, is World Amateur Radio Day (WARD), this year marking the 93rd anniversary of the International Amateur Radio Union (IARU), founded in Paris in 1925. Each year, WARD celebrates Amateur Radio’s contribution to society.
“World Amateur Radio Day is an opportunity for our member-societies to show our capabilities and promote the use of Amateur Radio, both on the air and through social media,” IARU President Tim Ellam, VE6SH/G4HUA, said. “It is a celebration of what the Amateur Radio Service has brought to the public over the years, and of our ability to provide communication to assist others in times of crisis.”
Amateur Radio experimenters were the first to discover that the shortwave spectrum — far from being the wasteland “experts” of the time considered it to be — could support worldwide propagation. In the rush to use these shorter wavelengths, Amateur Radio was “in grave danger of being pushed aside,” the IARU’s history has noted. Amateur Radio pioneers met in Paris in 1925 and created the IARU to support Amateur Radio around the globe.
Two years later, at the International Radiotelegraph Conference, Amateur Radio gained the allocations still recognized today — 160, 80, 40, 20, and 10 meters. The IARU has been working to defend and expand Amateur Radio frequency allocations ever since.
From the 25 countries that formed the IARU in 1925, the IARU has grown to include 160 member-societies in three regions. IARU Region 1 includes Europe, Africa, the Middle East, and Northern Asia. Region 2 covers the Americas, and Region 3 is comprised of Australia, New Zealand, the Pacific island nations, and most of Asia. The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) has recognized the IARU as representing the interests of Amateur Radio.
“I wish all amateurs a fantastic day of celebration of Amateur Radio, encourage everyone to get involved, and, most of all, to have fun!” IARU President Ellam said.
Groups should promote their WARD activity on social media by using the hash tag #WorldAmateurRadioDay on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.
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